ST. STEPHEN (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments have announced the third project from round one of the Healthy Seniors Pilot Project.

The project aims to engage seniors in proactively monitoring their health status and risk factors with the use of a new digital health platform and support from health-care professionals.

“Helping seniors stay healthy and at home for as long as possible is important to our government and our health care system,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “This project will help to improve the health of its participants as they track different risk factors and will encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices, which in turn will have a positive outcome on their overall well-being.”

The Healthy Seniors Pilot Project was announced in June 2018 and will be carried out over three years. It focuses on exploring new ideas, with the goal of improving the quality of life for seniors.

“Right across the country, seniors have made tremendous contributions over the course of their lives,” said federal Health Minister Patty Hadju. “Our governments want Canada’s older population to enjoy a positive quality of life and to learn more about how to promote healthy aging for seniors. Through projects like the one announced today, and others funded through the Healthy Seniors Pilot Project, we can help seniors maintain health, independence, and quality of life.”

“We are excited to discover how weekly client monitoring will immediately increase the quality of life for seniors as they become more aware of their health and are empowered to take action,” said Will Bernard, chief operating officer of Kindred Home Care. “The longer-term goal is to discover trends in their health data using predictive analytics which could be used to prevent hospitalizations, allowing seniors to stay healthier in their own homes, while reducing expensive hospitalizations for the province.”

More than $1.6 million is allocated for the project, which targets seniors receiving services from Kindred Home Care in St. Stephen, Fredericton, Moncton, Sackville, Saint John, Kings County, Carleton County, Victoria County, Grand Manan, St. George and Saint Andrews. The project is a collaboration with Fredericton-based VeroSource Solutions and the University of New Brunswick.

“We know that innovative technology is playing an increasingly vital role in health care,” said Mark McAllister, chief executive officer of VeroSource Solutions. “We are excited to be part of the transformation that is unlocking potential in Canadian health care. Our collaboration with Kindred Home Care and the University of New Brunswick ensures our technology addresses real-world issues and is backed by evidence-based research.”

“Experience shows that technology innovation is only part of the battle,” said Erik Scheme, New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Medical Technologies at the University of New Brunswick. “Our focus is applied research programs that explore the use of tools and technology that support and add value to regular person-to-person interactions as part of a preventative monitoring program.”

Funding for the project was announced as part of the 2018 federal budget, and is available for government and non-governmental groups to initiate projects that will align with, support and further the implementation of the New Brunswick Aging Strategy. More information on the pilot project is available online.